JAIPUR: At a time when lockdown has brought life to a standstill, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) continues to work on a "three-dimensional strategy" in Rajasthan -- offering service ('sewa'), organising family meetings ('parivarmilan') and connecting with workers on phone and online (from national to state and state to regional) to serve the people in need.
The ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party says its activists have enabled women and children to connect to their home-run shakhas during lockdown.
This novel concept where a family, including children, prays together twice in a day in the morning and evening in home-run shakhas has been named as 'kutumb shakhas', said Vishwa Samwad Kendra member Manoj Kumar.
With women and children joining the daily-run shakhas, the number of RSS workers in Rajasthan has gone up many-fold.
In its three 'prants' in Rajasthan -- Jaipur, Chittaur and Jodhpur -- as many as 4,32,326 new members have joined RSS 'shakhas' out of which 1,18,609 are from Chittaur, 2,63,217 are from Jaipur and 50,500 are from Jodhpur, he said.
Before lockdown, as many as 2,90,621 RSS workers attended various 'shakhas' being run in 9,732 places in the state and this number now has increased to 7,22,947 with women and children among other family members joining the Hindutva brigade.
In Jaipur 'Prant', the RSS is running 'kutumb shakhas' at 847 places in which around 3,785 women participate, says Kumar, adding that Sangh workers despite lockdown are continuing their 'shakhas' in their houses and are actively reaching out to places where their services are required.
Earlier, women were active in other activities of RSS, but they did not participate in 'shakhas'. Lockdown has changed the scenario, he added.
The Jaipur 'Prant' comprises Sikar, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Dausa, Tonk, Jaipur Rural and Jaipur Nagar.
The RSS continued its work even during the Emergency period, when its workers operated from their homes. Today, the organisation is actively engaged in all its social and philanthropic activities across Rajasthan.
Recently, the RSS workers in Jaipur reached out to porters at the railway station who were in urgent need of ration as their earning had dried up due to suspension of railway services. As many as 61 porters were given ration by these workers, said Rajasthan Seva Karya Pramukh Shivlehri.
Most of the porters are not employed by anyone and hence were given food items, including, sugar, salt, spices and edible oil in the presence of Atul Srivastava, Chief Commercial Officer, Jaipur Mandal; Devendra Singh, Jaipur Railway Station Superintendent; Rajeev Kulshreshta from Jaipur Railway Station VIP movement and other senior officers.
The RSS' women workers are stitching 10,000 masks in a day, distributing food kits and cooked food to the needy, providing masks to the destitute and fodder for the cattle.
Although Sangh has cancelled all its programmes involving participation of over 20 people till July 20, its service activities continue to make a mark in the state, he added.